|Man Vyi (Wikimedia Commons)|
Funny enough, psychologists have actually studied this.
In a 2011 paper, Gabriel Radvansky and colleagues from the University of Notre Dame had participants play a computer game. In a virtual room, they were instructed to pick up an object from a table and take it to another table. The objects varied in color and shape. Importantly, as long as the participant was "carrying" the object, it was invisible to them.
Sometimes the participants' video game characters simply had to cross the room to put the object down. Other times, they had to walk through a virtual doorway to get to the table.
At random times throughout the experiment, participants were asked what object they were currently carrying. Interestingly, walking through a virtual doorway resulted in less accurate and slower responses than when they simply needed to cross a room.
To answer the broader question: we associate certain memories with certain places, and that's how we make sense of all the input flooding into our noggins. Our brains have incredible storage capacity, but they can only do so much. (Elephants* never forget, though.)
Do you forget more
When you walk through a door?
Let us know
In this anonymous poll!
Stay tuned for next week's #BrainBits: "Why do I get hangry (angry when I'm hungry)?"
(*I promised my uncle months ago that I would incorporate the word "elephant" into my next blog. Better late than never, right?)
Here you go, Uncle Ed. Jan Gillbank